Road Reaction: Rockets 113, Kings 106
“I’m not happy at all,” coach Keith Smart said on the telecast following the game. “We self destruct. We have some success as a unit, as a group and then you stay with it. You stay with it and you allow players to make the right plays for each other and then you get away from it.”
The Rockets’ Patrick Patterson played extremely well off the bench, finishing with 24 points on 10-for-16 shooting. Luis Scola scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, but it was veteran Earl Boykins, the 5-foot-5 dynamo out of Eastern Michigan that saved the day for the Rockets. After signing a 10-day contract earlier today, Boykins scored 10 points, including four clutch free throws in the final 20 seconds of the game.
Cousins punished the Rockets frontline, finishing with 38 points and 14 rebounds for the Kings. Marcus Thorton scored 27 for the Kings, while former Rocket Terrence Williams played well down the stretch, finishing with 10 points off the bench.
Notes and Analysis
- The Kings have no excuses in this one. The Kings ran the Rockets off the floor in the first quarter, leading by as many as 16 at one point. But they went away from what worked and it killed them.
- Tyreke Evans had a career-high six steals on the night, but five of them came in the first half when the Kings were on the attack.
- Cousins was a beast. Last time these two teams met, Dalembert got the best of Cousins early and often. Tonight it was all Cousins, who set a new career-high with 38 points on 15-for-26 shooting from the field and 8-for-12 shooting from the line.
- New addition Terrence Williams hit two huge 3-point shots off the bench for the Kings, finishing with 10 points and two steals in 17 minutes of action. It appears that he is winning over the coaching staff so far with his versatility and defensive prowess.
- Outside of Williams, the Kings bench was a nightmare, combining for just 13 points. Fredette, Salmons, Garcia and Outlaw went scoreless in limited minutes as Smart stuck to his starters when at all possible.
- The Kings had been on a solid run of 20-plus assist nights, but that came to a close tonight in dramatic fashion. The team finished with just 17 assisted baskets as they reverted back to their isolating ways. Isaiah Thomas finished with a team-high six assists, but the group failed to get Cousins the ball down the stretch in the fourth and in overtime.
- John Salmons played less than four minutes tonight before coming up lame with a hip injury.
- Jason Thompson missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. Before the injury, the fourth-year forward had a string of five straight double-double games. Donté Greene started in Thompson’s place and finished with eight points and five rebounds.
- Marcus Thornton scored 27 points on 9-for-21 shooting, pushing his season scoring average to 19 per contest.
- Stat of the Game: Veterans Samuel Dalembert and Marcus Camby combined for four points and 12 rebounds in 39 minutes against Cousins. The second year center took these guys to the woodshed all game long.